Are you great at receiving “constructive” criticism? Yeah, I thought so too. After all, I get paid to be a precise communicator as speaker, consultant and coach. Unfortunately, as I would soon learn, I needed a second opinion.
A quick poll of my business colleagues and family yielded the general consensus: “You are not terrible at receiving criticism, but you often have a comeback, explanation or a rebuttal. Especially, if you disagree with the feedback given you. You are smart, but you can be defensive.” To that, I responded: “Yes, but what if the feedback isn’t remotely accurate?” “Bingo, there you go!” was their quick return. Touche!
What about you? Chances are, you are not as good at receiving criticism as you think either. Most of us are not- even those, ironically, with advanced degrees in communication-related fields.
Can you radically improve in a short amount of time. Yes!
Marshall Goldsmith, noted business coach, offers a transformative response to criticism you can put to immediate use. It is simple to execute but it will mean holding your tongue and treating all feedback you receive, one-on-one, similarly-something that is emotionally challenging to do, especially if you are used to being right or having the answers! But, if you learn to faithfully apply Goldsmith’s technique, it will change your business and personal life as it has mine. Why is it so powerful? Because some of the most valuable feedback we will ever need to hear will, sadly, remain unsaid. Others will quietly determine it is not worth the cost of offering it to us.
Goldsmith’s technique is challenging to use consistently but is straightforward. In response to any feedback or criticism you receive simply respond:
“Thank you for pointing that out. I will give what you said careful consideration.”